Mogadishu, Somalia – The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) today received an assortment of medical and sanitary items, donated by the US Army, to help Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in AMISOMs areas of Responsibility (AoR) in South Central Somalia, combat the spread of the global COVID -19 pandemic.
The personal protection equipment (PPE), included handwashing facilities, handheld thermometer guns, liquid and bar washing soap, was donated by the US Army Civil Affairs Unit in Mogadishu and handed over on Tuesday by Col. Christian Werner, the US Defence Attaché to Somalia, to Maj. Gen. George Owinow, the AMISOM Deputy Force Commander in charge Support and Logistics, at a function held at the AMISOM Force Headquarters in Mogadishu, attended by senior AMISOM officials and representatives from Somalia’s Ministry of Health.
Speaking at the event, Maj. Gen. Owinow emphasized the importance of Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) in the stabilization effort in Somalia and reiterated AMISOMs commitment in partnering with other stakeholders, particularly the US in implementing more CIMIC activities, to better the lives of the local communities in its area of operation.
“You know how important CIMIC is in any single operation that we are doing, and also in getting the local people, that we are working with out there, to be a bit more comfortable a bit more receptive, not just to see the face of the military coming to look for Al-Shabaab but also taking care of their welfare,” said Maj. Gen. Owinow.
Maj. Gen, Owinow lauded the US army for the donation which will be distributed to all the six sectors of AMISOM, to benefit 20 IDP camps across the sectors, so as to enhance health care delivery and at the same time prevent and check the spread of Covid-19 among IDPs.
Dr. Opiyo Ododa, the AMISOM Senior Civil Affairs Officer, lauded the US Army for the donation and appealed for continued partnership between AMISOM and the US in the implementation of CIMIC activities, given AMISOMs expanding presence in South Central Somalia.
“As AMISOM we have footprints all over South Central Somalia. If you look at our disposition and the location of our troops, our troops are located in population centres where the troops interact with these communities, and therefore, projects like what we have today, really have an immediate impact on these troops wherever they are,” said Dr. Ododa
On his part, Col. Werner described AMISOM as a natural partner in the delivery of life saving services to the Somali people and underscored the important role of CIMIC and community based initiatives in bringing lasting peace in Somalia.
“The donation today of personal protective equipment (PPE) is intended to help AMISOM to reach out to the most vulnerable of the population in Somalia-those living in the internally displaced peoples camps, probably the most affected by COVID,” said Col Werner, noting that the donation is intended to tap in the synergy between AMISOM and the US army in the delivery of much needed support to slow the spread of the Covid-19 disease.
Col. Werner added, “So for us, AMISOM is a natural partner in the effort to provide stability and security to Somalia, and is one that we value and will continue to work with, towards improving the relationship and working together towards helping all the Somali people,”
Mr. Abdiaziz Hashi Abdi, the representative from Somalia’s Federal Ministry of Health, lauded both the US and AMISOM for the continued support, both in the security and humanitarian sectors.
“We appreciate the support of the US army to AMISOM forces in terms of COVID supply distribution. We really appreciate the long-time support from the US army and also the AMISOM forces, to keep Somalia safe in terms of peace and also in terms of humanitarian issues,” Mr. Abdiaziz said.